2019 Federal Budget Includes ATC Privatization Language

The fight continues to protect air traffic control as we know it.

The view from the ATC tower at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.NATCA

The Trump administration presented its budget for fiscal year 2019 this week and, once again, it includes language that would move the responsibility of air traffic control from the FAA to a non-governmental organization run by a private board, “effectively dominated by the airlines and unaccountable to Congress” according to the National Business Aviation Administration. The aviation alphabet groups are up in arms over the proposal and continue their crusade against what is expected to deal a devastating blow to the general aviation industry and the freedom to fly that still exists in this country.

“The Administration and a few members of Congress continue to offer proposals that would take the management of air traffic control operations from the FAA, which places the public interest as its top priority, and gives that management to a private entity that would only be responsible to a small, insular board,” said the General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s president and CEO, Pete Bunce. “These air traffic control privatization proposals continue to be the main reason that other necessary regulatory and certification reforms remain in legislative limbo, delaying what could otherwise be immediate, positive impacts on not just the U.S. airspace system and its users, but also the country’s economy and job creation.”

“Privatization would especially hurt the general aviation industry, which supports more than a million jobs and generates $200 billion a year in economic activity,” said NBAA’s president and CEO Ed Bolen. “NBAA will continue to support effective investments to upgrade infrastructure. But we urge the president to abandon this airline-handover proposal, and support policies that ensure access to vital aviation services for all citizens and communities.”

“The saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” most definitely applies here – why do we need to disrupt an entire system and change it, when the U.S. system is the safest, most efficient in the world?” Bunce said.

The future of the air traffic control system and the FAA hangs on the members of Congress. If this potential major change in our National Airspace System concerns you, keep contacting your government legislators to voice your concern.